Copyright Law in Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga creators and entrepreneurs should do everything within their power to protect their creative work. One of the key steps in protecting your work is to establish a trademark for your product. This is a very nuanced area of the law, and to avoid confusion or mistakes in the application process, you may want to seek the counsel of an experienced Chattanooga attorney.

What Is Copyright Registration?

Copyright registration offers the author of a piece of work in Chattanooga, Tennessee some protection from those who try to steal their idea.

A novel creation receives copyright protection when it becomes fixed into a tangible form. Copyright law dictates how to establish this ownership. Additionally, it explains how to register intellectual property or defend against infringement.

Copyright registration is a type of public record for ownership. A piece of work doesn’t require copyright registration for protection under the US copyright law. However, you should register your product in Chattanooga, TN with the help of a copyright lawyer, as this can offer you several unique advantages:

  • Protects your work against the importation of copies that infringe the registration. Your registration will be recorded with the United States Customs and Border Protection.
  • If your work is already registered in the United States, you can proceed with an infringement lawsuit; otherwise, you will have to register it first.
  • The IP owner can seek damages and attorney fees if a copyright registration happens within three months of publication (or prior to an infringement claim).
  • If a copyrighted work becomes registered outside of the three-month time frame, you may seek actual damages that you lost.
  • Copyright registration will identify each public record of its existence. This action puts the copyright protection into public notice for the piece of work that you’ve created and/or own.

What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is a word, symbol, design, or phrase that distinguishes you from another company. Service marks are a type of trademark that a company will use when providing services to the public. Technically, trademarks are a form of intellectual property. It also forms part of the company’s brand, even if they no longer use it.

Here are some of the components that established Chattanooga, TN business people and brand owners often trademark:

  • Logos
  • Symbols
  • Product packages
  • Name of the business
  • Name of the product or service
  • Designs

The Secretary of State of Tennessee gives a thorough breakdown of trademarks and the trademark process in the state. When submitting your application you’ll need to provide what are known as specimens. These specimens, are demonstrations of your trademark in conjunction with your business. Acceptable specimens could be business cards, labels for goods, containers, or even invoices.

How Long Does It Take to Register a Trademark and Copyright?

The State of Tennessee affirms that once you finish the registration process, your trademark can last up to five years from the date you filed the application. You can begin to renew your trademark as soon as 6 months from the date of the expiration of the mark.

News Channel 9 reports that there was a trademark dispute between Arkansas State University and the Chattanooga Red Wolves. The dispute centers around the use of “Red Wolves’”, which is the official mascot of ASU. The fact that another team is calling itself the Red Wolves has become a point of contention for both sides.

What’s the Difference Between a Trademark and a Copyright?

The value of your Chattanooga, TN business depends on the assets it owns. It’s important to note that the most valuable assets are not always physical or financial. Your intellectual property counts as assets too. Due to this, if people use those assets without your permission, you can file a lawsuit for infringement.

While trademarks and copyrights protect intellectual property, they cover two different aspects. Copyright registration protects artistic and literary works, such as videos and books. A trademark registration protects brand components. This can be a jingle, a logo, or a mascot of your organization.

Take, for example, if you own a magazine publishing company. You would trademark the logo and the name of your company. However, you would also place copyright protection on all the magazines that you have published.

Work With an Experienced Chattanooga, Tennessee Copyright Lawyer

Do you have an idea that needs protection under intellectual property law? If so, complete the registration process as soon as possible. There is always the risk that someone else might beat you to it. This eventuality can create complications when the time comes to defend IP rights claims.

An experienced Chattanooga, TN copyright lawyer can help you uncover if anyone else has registered a similar idea. If your concept closely resembles another, it might get rejected. Consequently, it is better to find this early than to go through the process only to get denied later. In addition, an intellectual property lawyer will help you to draft critical documents. Or, they can determine the value of the intellectual property that you own.

An intellectual property lawyer also assesses the quality of the assets. They will also look at the number of assets licensed under your name or your business in Chattanooga, TN. This evaluation can help to maximize the entire value of all intangible assets that your company has.

Are you ready to tap into our network of Chattanooga copyright attorneys  that can guide you through every step? We can even help you connect with an attorney across Tennessee state lines. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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